The first place Culinart Cardinals finished their regular season undefeated (6-0) with a 9-0 win over the Harbor Deli Braves. Adam Bethon pitched three scoreless innings, striking out 8 to extend his ERA of 0.0 over 14 innings. Adam played the entire game with three stitches in his leg from an injury he sustained in the previous game. Jeremy Gurewitz for the Cardinals had a dramatic double to drive in two runs. In the fourth inning, Yorye Canales's grounder advanced runners to second and third allowing Josh Cohen (2 for 3) to score them with a double to the centerfield wall. Pitcher Mike McCabe (3 for 4) drove in two runs in the sixth inning in support of his two innings of strong relief.
For the Braves, Alex Caruso pitched two solid innings. He also made a great catch in center field. In the fifth inning, catcher Billy Werber caught a mile high ball in front of home plate. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning after fastballs to home plate by Cardinals' Erik Schroeder were surpassed by cloud to ground lightning strikes by a heavenly hurler. With this win, the Culinart Cardinals are playoff bound!
The Culinart Cardinals capped their undefeated season with a 6-2 victory over the Lee Odell Marlins in the PAL Championship Game. In the first inning, leadoff hitter Erik Schroeder hammered a homer over the left field fences. Eric Ellegaard and Jeremy Gurewitz followed with singles and were subsequently knocked in by clutch hits from Josh Cohen and Mike McCabe (3 for 3 at the plate). With bases loaded, Brian Wedeking worked a walk to force in the fourth run in the inning. Aggressive base running by Jeremy Gurewitz provided the Cardinals' fifth run in the third inning. Adam Bethon extended his perfect ERA of 0.0 over 17 innings by pitching three scoreless innings. (He allowed only three hits during the season!) He also knocked in the sixth run for the Cardinals in the fourth inning.
Both teams played stellar defense. In the first inning, Cardinals' Josh Cohen made a great catch at first base. In the fourth inning, Mike McCabe for the Cardinals took a hit away from Nick Piertrantonio catching a torrid shot. Mike also pitched out of trouble in the fifth inning catching a fly ball on the mound and doubling off a runner at third base to hold the Marlins scoreless over two innings. Marlins' Spencer Irving made two great plays at shortstop. Pitcher Matt Odell threw two strong middle innings to check the Cardinals. But with two outs in the Marlins' last at bat, slugger Dominick Masiello took one deep to the center field fence to drive in two runs. Cardinal closer Eric Ellegaard shut down the Marlin rally with a strikeout to preserve the win and the perfect season! He was immediately mobbed on the mound by his jubilant teammates.
In the after game ceremony, the Culinart Cardinals were honored with first place trophies and the Lee Odell Marlins with Divisional trophies. A great ending to another exciting PAL season!